CA-46: Military Families Speak Out Against Rep. Rohrabacher

One of the things The California Courage Campaign does is hold our elected leaders accountable for their actions.  Recently, I reported about an unfortunate incident as Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA 46) insulted and demeaned the mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters of our troops in Iraq.  Rohrabacher, who lives in Huntington Beach, told the families of our soldiers that they are "unpatriotic," accused them of "lowering troop morale," and barked that these families should "be ashamed" of themselves.

It's the "distinguished" Congressman who should be ashamed.

Now, with your support,  Military Families Speak Out - Orange County is taking action to hold Congressman Rohrabacher accountable for his despicable words and deeds.

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"We May Have Just Reached A Tipping Point"

The amount of polling at the House level this cycle seems quite an increase over the last cycle. Blink and you'll miss, jerome

So said a friend of mine on the Hill who up until now has been wary and conservative in his estimates of what's going to happen this November. Four new polls showing strong Democratic gains are making him see that yes, Virginia, there is a tidal wave coming.

These may be the four that Political Wire is teasing.

Sorry to scoop, but these were just too good not to post:

CT-04: Diane Farrell (D) vs. Chris Shays (R-Incumbent)
Head to Head: Farrell 44%, Shays 41%.  Only 24% of voters in Connecticut's 4th district think that the country is going on the right track, while 65% say we're headed down the wrong track and only 21% give President Bush a positive rating for the job he is doing, 77% disapprove. [Bennett, Petts, Blumenthal, 400 voters; October 10-12; margin of error 4.9%]

CT-05: Chris Murphy (D) vs. Nancy Johnson (R-Incumbent)
Head to Head: Murphy 45%, Johnson 40%.  When asked to assess the job that Nancy Johnson is doing, only 39% approve.  Only 32% of voters in Connecticut's 5th district think that the country is going on the right track, while 58% say we're headed down the wrong track and only 27% give President Bush a positive rating for the job he is doing, 70% disapprove. [Grove Insight, 400 voters; October 12; margin of error 5%]

NY-20: Kirsten Gillibrand (D) vs. John Sweeney (R-Incumbent)
Head to Head: Gillibrand 41%, Sweeney 42%.  When asked to assess the job tht John Sweeney is doing, only 35% approve.  Only 27% of voters in New York's 20th district think that the country is going on the right track, while 60% say we're headed down the wrong track and only 25% give President Bush a positive rating for the job he is doing. [Grove Insight, 400 voters; October 13; margin of error 4.9%]

PA-08: Patrick Murphy (D) vs. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Incumbent)
Head to Head: Murphy 44%, Fitzpatrick 40%.  When asked to assess the job tht Mike Fitzpatrick is doing, only 37% approve.  Only 27% of voters in Pennsylvania's 8th district think that the country is going on the right track, while 66% say we're headed down the wrong track and only 27% give President Bush a positive rating for the job he is doing, 71% disapprove. [Grove Insight, 400 voters; October 15; margin of error 4.9%]

View My Homemade Political Ads On YouTube!

I wanted to share with you a video project a friend and I have just launched on YouTube that I'm pretty excited about.

In a nutshell:

1 video camera borrowed from a friend: $0

1 professional director of photography we found on Craigslist: $0

9 actors we found on Breakdown Services to star in our ads : $0

2 DV videotapes: $10

6 bagels, 8 muffins, cold cuts, waters, sodas, snacks and sundry other groceries to feed our tireless cast and crew: $80

1 editor (also from Craigslist) to spend countless hours logging, cutting, editing and uploading: $100

Making 10 people powered political ads to help Democrats get elected: priceless

More over the flip.

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People-Powered Film Distribution: 'Iraq or Sale'

(Cross-posted from The California Courage Campaign)

I just got back from a Iraq For Sale phonebanking houseparty and I have to say, I'm struck by just how devastating an indictment this film is of the government's willingness to outsource and privatize so much of the war effort. I thought I was pretty well-informed; I thought there were no new depths to which my opinion of this administration could sink. Well, I was wrong.

Iraq For Sale:The War Profiteers is the latest documentary by Robert Greenwald and his Brave New Films whose other films include Outfoxed, Wal Mart: The High Cost of Low Price and The Big Buy: Tom DeLay's stolen Congress. They're all a unique brand of activist filmmaking with a revolutionary distribution model: it's people powered. Instead of going the Hollywoood route and hoping a studio will distribute these films, they self-distribute on dvd, call on us to buy one for $15, invite our friends over and have house parties, even organize online to gather with strangers; MoveOn has taken it to the next level and is using it in concert with actual activism, in this case phonebanking.

I was one of ten strangers who gathered at the home of a woman who was kind enough to allow us to invade her home to phonebank and watch the film. We started out phonebanking for Bob Casey, calling people in Pennsylvania to gauge support for Casey among MoveOn's phonelist. Most people weren't home, I got several hangups and a few staunch Democrats who expressed strong support for Casey. Then there were two undecideds I spoke to. Now that's where you really feel you're making a difference, because while the MoveOn instructions advise not to get into long conversations, they do recommend making it as conversational as possible, which I did. I can only hope my passion for Casey came through and may ultimately influence them in a small way. Think about the cumulative effect of people all over the country doing this.

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Andy Stern In Los Angeles (Event Tonight)

(Cross-posted from The Courage Campaign)

Andy Stern, head of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and author of the new book A Country That Works, spoke at a lunch in Culver City today.

It was fascinating to hear him speak of the importance of merging labor and the modern progressive movement. He's absolutely right that there has been a disconnect between the two movements ("except when candidates are in need of money." ) We certainly saw this disconnect first hand at YearlyKos in June where labor was conspicuously absent. I applaud MyDD for their leadership in inviting labor into the netroots fold.

Stern spoke both of the importance of labor ("no social movement has succeeded without the assistance of organized labor" ) but also of its limitations ("labor represents only 8% of all private sector jobs" ) and stressed the need for progressive coalitions to form in order to fight to "tame capitalism so that it works for the people." Right now, government, which always used to concern itself with the welfare of its citizens, is distributing wealth up. We hear all the time about the widening gap between rich and "the rest of us" but Stern puts it in stark terms and speaks of it as a moral issue, no longer merely one of economics or of policy. The statistic he cited that caused an audible gasp among attendees was the following:

More women filed for bankruptcy last year than graduated from college.

More on the event today and where he'll be appearing tonight over the flip... 

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CT-04: First Debate Goes To Farrell (D) By Castration

Thanks to dailyKos diarist dvogel001 whose diary alerted me to the first CT-04 debate between Republican incumbent Chris Shays and Democratic challenger Diane Farrell, which aired on CSPAN yesterday.

For a primer on the race, check out my first CT-04 diary.

The debate over the flip...

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CT-04: 'Congresswoman Diane Farrell' Sure Has A Nice Ring To It

As a former resident of CT-04 and as someone who voted for Republican incumbent Congressman Chris Shays long long ago, I have followed this race with particular interest. Shays stood up to the Republican leadership admirably during the impeachment circus but over the last few years, he has enabled this administration's failed war policy, lending credibility through his support. He has done little to stand up to the leadership and, certainly, as a moderate in a caucus dominated by conservatives, is impotent even with his seniority.

It's time for him to go and for his excellent Democratic opponent, Diane Farrell, to replace him in Washington.

More over the flip.

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Framing The Fall: Bush On The Ballot in CA

The California Courage Campaign has launched a new campaign for the fall focusing on five initiatives that will be on the Nov 7 ballot here in California. Last year we had great success as part of the progressive coalition that defeated Arnold's reform initiatives. This year, Arnold is, probably wisely, keeping his distance from them. Without a unifying force behind the initiatives, we knew we had to come up with a theme, a narrative, with which to frame the initiatives in a way that would educate and motivate the ballot measure-weary electorate. And this year, what better motivator for voters in our great blue state, and, truly, what better uniter of what ordinarily would be disparate progressive groups than the decider himself, George W. Bush.

Yes, this fall, George Bush's agenda will be on the November ballot in California, and we're calling on our supporters and all of you to join us in saying simply "George Bush, you're not welcome here" by signing our open letter to President Bush. Go ahead, try it. The comments section is particularly therapeutic.

More over the flip.

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Went To An Incredible Election Protection Event in Los Angeles

(cross-posted at The California Courage Campaign)

On Saturday I attended an amazing election protection event here in Los Angeles. Co-sponsored by SoCal Grassroots, Velvet Revolution, and Progressive Democrats of America, the event brought together a veritable who’s who of the nationwide fight to make sure the votes we cast are the votes that are counted. The fact that it was held in the Immanuel Presbyterian Church seemed only appropriate considering the passion activists have for this topic, especially here in California.

More on the event over the flip.

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PT911: Holy Crap! A Thanks from Bill Clinton

(cross-posted at The California Courage Campaign and DailyKos)

From all the comments we received both HERE and HERE regarding our Path To 9-11 protest outside Disney on Friday, it's clear that the idea of the protest struck a chord with people from all over the country. You guys were watching and thanking us for standing up for the truth on your behalf.

Turns out, someone else was watching.

Over the flip, check out what our Chair, Rick Jacobs, received in his inbox yesterday.

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